Bike ride held to show support for family targeted in suspected - KPTV - FOX 12

Bike ride held to show support for family targeted in suspected bias crime

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A Portland cycling community is showing support to a family they believe was a victim of a bias crime.
 
Police are searching for a man on a bike who pepper sprayed three black children and yelled racial comments at them in northeast Portland back on Sept. 15. Officers say they came to the 5500 block of Northeast 9th Avenue Tuesday night.
 
The mother and grandmother of three boys — ages 7, 11, and 12 years old — said the children were getting into a car when a man rode on a bike. A family friend said the man turned around, rode back by the car and sprayed the children with pepper spray as he used a racial slur and rode away.
 
"I don't care if it was water, it shouldn’t have happened," said family friend Wendy Williams. 
 
Williams added the children are traumatized but need to know the cycling community is a good community and this man was "one bad apple."
 
On Sunday afternoon, a group of cyclists in the community came together to ride in solidarity to show their support.
 
"It's great to put people around you who look different from you," one cyclist said.

Others said the city needs the best in people and not the worst. 
 
Portland police are still looking for the suspect who they believe is a white or Hispanic man in his mid-20s, 5 feet 9 inches tall and 160 pounds. He was wearing black spandex-style bicycle clothing and a gray and black helmet. He was riding a road-style bicycle, not a mountain bike, with a white box on the back.
 
Because of the details of the report, the investigation is being done by a bias crimes detective. 

Police said bias crimes are defined as any criminal act that targets a victim based on the suspect's perception of the victim's race, color, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.

Anyone with information about this incident or the identity of the suspect is asked to contact Detective Jeff Sharp at 503-823-9773, jeff.sharp@portlandoregon.gov

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